How to Improve Your Email Sales Funnel (5 Effective Ways)

Do you want to learn how to improve your email sales funnel? If so, you’re in the right place!

A sales funnel is the path people take to discover your brand and eventually buy a product. Business leaders and marketers usually create many different types of funnels so they can capture users’ attention at pivotal moments.

Email marketing is an excellent way to grow your business, boost brand awareness, and skyrocket sales. Believe it or not, 99% of email users check their inboxes daily. Some people report checking their email 20 times every day! With this statistic in mind, it’s easy to see why email sales funnels are crucial for businesses across all industries.

Today, I will show you five practical ways you can turn more website visitors into subscribers by fine-tuning your email funnel. If done correctly, many of these subscribers can later be converted into loyal, paying customers.

Let’s dive in!

Start Building Your Email List with Lead Magnets

The top of your sales funnel is where people will come in and engage with your brand for the first time. If you want them to continue their journey with your business, you have to find a way to stay in touch.

In this instance, you should convince website visitors and social media subscribers to join your email list. There are plenty of ways to capture your target audience’s attention. In my experience, lead magnets are the most effective strategy for building and maintaining a strong email list.

Lead magnets are content and offers that appeal to your customer’s needs, goals, and pain points. You’ve likely seen a lead magnet while shopping online. They typically appear as a popup with a special offer, like a 30% discount for first-time customers or access to an exclusive webinar.

You can dramatically grow your email list by strategically adding lead magnet popups to
your website.

Creating offers that pair with specific blog posts is one way to get more value from your magnets. For instance, if you have an article on your website that covers the top ten best cat foods, you could ask users to download a content upgrade (another name for a lead magnet) that gives people a step-by-step guide for taking care of a newly adopted cat.

If someone is reading an article about cat food, there’s an excellent chance they would also want to download your lead magnet. For a user to access the content, they need to join your email list.

I recommend using buyer personas to create lead magnets and blog posts that resonate with your customers’ needs. If you want one more reason blogs are the best place for magnets, consider this; over 77% of people read articles online. In other words, there are plenty of opportunities to drive new users into your email funnel through your content.

Send New Subscribers a Welcome Email

Sending a welcome email can dramatically impact how people engage with your brand. Simply put, a welcome email is an automated message that is delivered to new subscribers after they sign up for your list.

Research shows that people open welcome emails 5x more often than traditional marketing emails. Specifically, these messages have an astounding open rate of 82%!

When you think about it, these statistics make perfect sense. People are more willing to open a brand email when the company and its products are still fresh in their minds. It’s also worth mentioning that welcome emails typically include the lead magnet that drove the user to sign up for your email in the first place.

Welcome messages are a way to set expectations and encourage users to open future emails, which can reduce friction and help streamline your funnel.

Here are a few things you should include in your welcome email:

Introduction – Tell users who you are and the purpose of your business.

Benefits – Explain to new subscribers how they can benefit from reading your emails/engaging with your brand.

Value – Give users something valuable. It could be the lead magnet that encouraged them to sign up or links to some of your best blog posts and resources.

Expectations – Let users know what will happen next. Explain the types of emails you would like to send them in the future.

Flexibility – Subscribers should always have the option to choose their preferences. This feature can help you personalize content (more on that soon), build rapport, and create a better experience for your audience.

Deliver Relevant Content and Offers

Now, let’s talk about the power of personalization. Did you know that over 80% of people say they are more likely to engage with a business that personalizes emails and offers? This startling statistic shows the importance of adding a touch of personalization to your messages.

Start by personalizing details like the subscriber’s name in your emails. This one small change can have a significant impact on your engagement rate. For context, emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate when compared to generic subject lines.

So, instead of saying:
“Welcome! Here’s Your 20% Discount!” you could try “Welcome, (name)! Here’s your 20% Discount!”

Your personalization efforts should also extend to the content and offers in your emails. If you ask your subscribers to share their preferences in the welcome email, you already know what they want to see.

Let’s go back to the cat food example I mentioned earlier. If a user says in response to your welcome email survey that they are a cat owner, you can send them offers on cat products and relevant blog posts.

You can apply this principle to your business regardless of what you sell or your target audience. B2B software, online pet stores, gourmet marshmallow companies, and clothing stores all have unique audiences they need to understand before they can start personalizing their content. I recommend researching your audience and understanding their needs so you can send interesting, click-worthy content.

If you can pique their interest during this pivotal moment, there’s a good chance they will return to your website and place an order.

Create a Cart Abandonment Campaign

Cart abandonment is a common phenomenon in the eCommerce world. A shocking 69.82% of people who add items to their virtual shopping cart will leave before placing their order.

There are a ton of reasons this could happen. Perhaps they were on a lunch break and needed to get to work. The user may have had second thoughts and decided to look elsewhere. Whatever the reason, you should do everything possible to get these users back in your sales funnel.

If a user is subscribed to your email list, you have an excellent chance to convince them to return to finalize their purchase.

We created a three-email series that goes out to subscribers who decide to abandon their shopping cart. These emails are sent within one week of them leaving. The first message goes out almost immediately, the next one is delivered 24 hours later, and the last email is delivered after a week.

Creating this campaign helped us convert 69% of this audience subset into customers. You can replicate this success using the personalization tactics we discussed earlier in your recovery emails. For example, our emails show users the items they left in their cart, mention the user by name, and include a discount they can redeem if they follow the link in the message.

When improving your sales funnel, you must think about users who may “leak” out along the way. Developing a cart abandonment strategy can help you patch your funnel and keep more users in until they decide to make a purchase.

Review Your Email and On-Site Analytics

Finally, reviewing your analytics is one of the best ways to continue growing your email list and fine-tuning your sales funnel. We can all learn so much about our audience and their needs from email and on-site data.

For instance, you could track and experiment with different offers to find the best way to bring subscribers to your site. This type of split test is extremely common and a great way to improve your engagement rate.

But this example only scratches the surface. You can also use the data from customer interactions to build stronger, more accurate buyer personas. As a result, all of your future emails and marketing efforts will see more traction.

I like to look at our analytics at least once a week. During this time, I identify patterns, take notes on successful (and failing) campaigns, and try to find new ways to keep subscribers interested in our emails.

Next, I meet with our marketing team to review the results. We’ve used this strategy to continuously improve our email marketing campaigns and sales funnels for the past several years. Each quarter, we see improvements. I believe this is because we are tuned in to our subscribers’ needs and know how to encourage them to take the next step and check out our products.

Back to You

There’s no question that an email sales funnel can help you grow your business and connect with new prospects. The tips presented today will help capture readers’ attention and keep them invested in your brand, regardless of where they are in their journey.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.

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